Bradford-based Morrisons becomes first major supermarket to remove plastic carrier bags from stores

Bradford-based Morrisons has announced today that it will remove all plastic ‘bags for life’ from every store nationwide, saving 3,200 tonnes of plastic per year, following the removal of single use plastic bags in 2017.

Customers will instead be able to purchase its paper bags which are reusable, recyclable, water resistant, tear resistant and can hold up to 16kg. A life cycle assessment carried out by The University of Sheffield has also shown that Morrisons paper bags have a lower carbon footprint than the plastic equivalent.

Paper bags will cost 30p and be available alongside other reusable options including string, jute, cotton and reusable woven bags, priced between 75p and £2.50.

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The removal of the plastic ‘bags for life’ will be phased and will begin in Scotland this month, followed by England and Wales over the course of the next year. Almost 100 million plastic bags will be removed in total, which amounts to 1.9 million a week.

Morrisons announces today that it will remove all plastic ‘bags for life’ from every store nationwide

Morrisons is the first UK supermarket to move away from plastic bags completely following a successful trial of paper bags in selected stores in 2020, which proved popular with customers.

David Potts, Chief Executive of Morrisons said: “We have been listening hard to our customers over the past year and we know that they are passionate about doing their bit to keep plastics out of the environment. Removing all of the plastic bags from our supermarkets is a significant milestone in our sustainability programme.”

Customers who order their shopping online via morrisons.com will also receive their delivery without plastic bags in cases where the order is packed in a Morrisons store.

Single use 5p carrier bags were removed from Morrisons in 2018 but some customers continue to buy plastic ‘bags for life’, which are stronger and thicker. An increase of price to 50p was introduced to Morrisons plastic ‘bags for life’ in December 2020.

Since 2017 Morrisons has removed and made recyclable over 10,000 tonnes of plastic. Morrisons is on track to hit its 50% plastic reduction target by 2025.